Ben Chan is unabashedly proud of his collection of feng shui cures and charms that occupy strategic spots alongside the designer furniture in his office.
After consulting feng shui expert Marites Allen, his luck has never been better, it seems.
Just as an architect or designer draws plans to make spaces comfortable and efficient, geomancer Allen will recommend ways to balance the energies in the surroundings to enhance the luck, well-being, abundance, relationships and growth of the inhabitants.
Allen helped when Chan moved his office from Pasay to Bonifacio Global City—where the Bench Tower stands on the corner of 30th Avenue and Rizal Drive.
Allen says the building is positioned southwards, the direction of abundance: “There will be four lucky and unlucky directions. The lucky directions are south, southwest, northeast and east. The main entrance faces the south. People who enter will feel positive energies.”
The chairman’s office is at the topmost floor of the 24-story Bench Tower. It points to the northeast, the wealth direction of Chan.
“You look at the luck directions of the owner and the building and integrate them,” explains Allen.
Chan’s narra worktable faces southwest to harness good health and fortune. The wood element in feng shui symbolizes personal and business growth. Its piedra china, or Chinese granite, base represents the feng shui stone element that stands for durability, strength and trust.
Chan says the table has served him well for 25 years of the 28-year-old company’s existence: “When a feng shui practitioner or a monk sees it, they like it because it represents sturdiness. It’s good feng shui.”
When he moved to the new office in 2013, the table was placed beside the door. However, this made for an awkward flow of space, since Chan couldn’t see who was entering. When it was moved to the far corner diagonally across the door, Chan felt improved interactions. The table was beside the window that welcomed natural light.
Cures and enhancers
For easy fixes, Allen recommends feng shui cures and enhancers. The wealth ship, a galleon with billowy sails, serves as a prosperity amulet.
In ancient times, Chinese junks traveled back with treasures, gold bars and jewelry. As a feng shui enhancer, it attracts various sources of income. Users are advised to put coins or precious stones to protect the wealth from loss.
“An empty ship is an empty promise,” says Allen. “It’s good to put in the currency of the country you do business with. For a business person, add golden ingots.”
On Chan’s desk lies a golden Dragon Sword on a stand, an amulet for business that keeps competitors at bay and staves off cheating and deception.
The jade double fish attracts more wealth energy. The fish has been carved as if it was jumping out of the water. This symbolizes the energy to jump-start a new project or to introduce something new.
Its jade material serves as a healing energy and tranquilizer, to which Chan attests.
Allen also recommends globes to attract luck in travel. “For some clients, I ask them to visualize a world map. It’s good for people who do business in other countries,” she says.
For 2016, Chan has to move his satellite office to the 23rd floor which also houses the Design Lab. One reason is the continuous transit of energies.
“I’ve asked Ben to relocate his work downstairs because that is where the auspicious energies will shift in 2016,” says Allen.
Have these feng shui suggestions worked?
Despite the influx of foreign high-street brands, Bench now has 533 stores nationwide and 31 Bench Body stores in China.
Suyen Corp. has 18 local brands and 42 foreign brands in its portfolio and a workforce of 9,000. The group is now venturing into restaurants.
“We’re experiencing double-digit growth. Ask the mall operators,” says Chan. “I’m not complaining.”
Feng shui aside, Chan has earned the love and respect of many people. “Ben is the kindest and sweetest person you’ll ever know,” says Allen who met him through Kris Aquino.
All the good karma he has reaped comes back in blessings.